On The Short Run is an occasional feature from RaceDayCT offering a quick opinion of a recent hot topic in racing …
On Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway Ryan Preece won in the first Modified Touring Series event at the historic Long Island venue.
Though you wouldn’t know that by visiting the Modified Touring Series Facebook page.
In a world where every series operator should be focused on exposing their product any way they can to generate fan interest, no series anywhere should be missing out on the free marketing tool that today’s world of social media offers.
Wednesday night at Thompson Speedway the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was in competition. Behind that event was the high-powered marketing that comes with the NASCAR brand name. And no, it’s not easy for any lower level regional touring series to match up with the might and money that comes with that NASCAR brand name.
Nobody expects divisions like the Modified Touring Series or the Valenti Modified Racing Series or the Tri-Track Open Modified Series to be hiring big money public relations staffs to drive exposure for their divisions.
But when a series ignores the free marketing options available that offer proven exposure the operators of that series are failing the competitors that are choosing to participate with them.
At 11 p.m. Saturday night, hours after the conclusion of the Modified Touring Series event at Riverhead, a text message came across my phone that read: “Did the MTS race at Riverhead rain out? I don’t see anything about who won on their Facebook page.”
As of noon Sunday there was still no mention of a race winner or race results from Riverhead on the Modified Touring Series page on Facebook. At about 1 p.m Sunday a photograph of Preece holding a checkered flag was posted on the series Facebook page. A caption-less photo of a driver holding a checkered flag, posted about 16 hours after the conclusion of the race, is the only indication on the series Facebook page that an event actually was run to conclusion at some point between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.
Ultimately, everything that is done within a racing series is preparation for a race, an event, a competition that concludes with a winner. You can update your Facebook page 20 times a day, but not taking two minutes to post who actually won your event is beyond inexcusable. It doesn’t even make sense? Why post about heat races and entry lists if the actual race winner or event results don’t even rate getting mentioned? Why even have a Facebook page if what happens in your races doesn’t rate getting posted there? Racing is still about the actual races right?
For any series to be successful there has to be a balance struck between making participants happy, making track operators happy and making fans want to see your product.
The problem is if the focus of any series operator becomes too much on just making participating teams and drivers happy, you’re essentially creating a racing club and not an entertainment property.
If you’re not doing all you can do to expose and sell your product to potential fans then you’re not going to create interest. And if there’s no interest and you’re not drawing fans to the gates, track operators are going to lose interest in hosting your series.
You can give back all you want to the teams with purses and bonuses and contingencies and all the other warm fuzzy stuff that would make teams want to participate, but if you’re not putting a real focus on marketing to fans then you’re going to be left with a whole bunch of happy drivers who have no place to race.
If spreading the word of the actual results of your events isn’t part of the big picture marketing plan, someone is really missing the boat on what this is all about. In 2017 everyone has a smart phone. Everyone has the ability to update social media anywhere anytime. There’s no excuses for not doing it today.